It’s all very quiet at home today. Of course it is, the school holidays have started. No chance of seeing a teen until hunger drives them downstairs. I miss being a teen in the summer. All that sleep. I know some parents are horrified that I leave them to sleep, but if they’re asleep they’re not eating their way through a weeks supply of food before lunch, and they’re not arguing with me or each other. Pat suggested I make lists of chores and get them up to ‘help’. I’ve put everything on his list. He can take time off work if he wants them domesticated.
The end of term awards have been posted online and, ever the delusional optimist, I scanned the list. 3 bloody years and not a mention. Not one. There are even awards for effort, you don’t even have to be any good, just try!
I said all this (in a loud voice) last night. Then I yanked the earphones out of their ears and said it again. Then I said it again as they hadn’t heard me as they were moaning about the earphones being removed.
They looked at me so blankly you’d have thought their brains had come out with the earplugs. Nothing. No comprehension whatsoever. They looked at each other for inspiration. “What the hell is she on about? School’s finished. Have you upset her?” They looked back at me. More blankness, and their eyes started to drift back to their screens.
“Nobody cares about awards Mum, they don’t mean anything” says oldest.
“I don’t know anyone who got one” says youngest.
“Their parents care!, they, I imagine, get a lovely warm and fuzzy feeling when they see that their offspring is trying hard at school”. “And you need to find new friends”.
I get phone calls to say my child has been quietly stuck in a lift all day and only raised the alarm once he’d eaten everything in his bag and got bored with the games on his phone, or that he’s ripped yet another pair of school trousers and can I bring a new pair in. The look or sheer joy when French teacher found out PJ was taking Spanish was worrying. The poor woman thought he was ill a couple of years ago as he had to go to the toilet so often during class.
“Hang on, our grades are good, and our behaviour is usually ok” says the budding MP.
“I haven’t had a detention is ages” says the other.
“And…”, the MP looks triumphant, “Nana says you were always bunking off school and never, ever, did more than the bare minimum. You were so bad they hit you with a belt – AT SCHOOL. The only reason she wasn’t called into school is Grandad didn’t want a phone in the house and they sent the letters home with you and you could copy Nana’s writing by the time you were 13! What is it you say about apples not falling far from trees? At least we don’t bunk off”. God, he’s really quite good when he gets going.
“Would you like a cup of tea?” asks youngest, he has a different way of dealing with difficult parents.
I’m now looking at the Tesco Value end of care homes for my mum. I’m kind of impressed though, well played mum. You waited and you got your revenge.
I can do the same.